KFTR-DT, virtual channel 46 (UHFdigital channel 29), is a UniMásowned-and-operatedtelevision station serving Los Angeles, California, United States that is licensed to Ontario, and serves as the West Coastflagship station of the network. The station is owned by Univision Communications, as part of a duopoly with Univision owned-and-operated station KMEX-DT (channel 34). The two stations share studios located on Center Drive (near I-405) in West Los Angeles, KFTR's transmitter is located atop Mount Wilson. KFTR does not air any local newscasts of its own, however the station does crosspromote sister station KMEX's local news programs.
The station first signed on the air on August 16, 1972 as KBSA, originally licensed to Guasti, a community near Ontario that is known for its vineyards. It originally operated as an independent station, showing mostly feature films. In 1973, Paul Crouch and Jim Bakker purchased time on the station to launch their television ministry, known as the Trinity Broadcasting Network, which served as the network's original home. TBN attempted to purchase Santa Ana-based KBSA later in 1973 but was sold from under them in 1974, channel 46 was to two joint owners. Berean Bible Ministries and Hispanic Broadcasters. TBN wound up buying cross-town Channel 40 KLXA and eventually renamed that station KTBN. This station, though continued some Christian programs a few hours a day and Spanish movies a few hours a day. Berean Bible Ministries sold their share of the station to Hispanic Broadcasters in 1975. KBSA then just broadcast Spanish feature films a few hours a day, however the station continued to have financial problems and went dark in 1977 as they attempted to sell the station. The license was turned into the FCC in 1979.
Channel 46 returned to the air in 1984 as KIHS, as a new license under the ownership of HBI Acquisition, and briefly carried a religious programming format. the station affiliated with Santa Fe Communications and began carrying mostly Catholic-based programming. In 1986, KIHS started airing public domain movies and local sports programming; it was sold later that year to Silver King Broadcasting, the broadcasting arm of the Home Shopping Network, relaunching that year as HSN station KHSC-TV.
By 1998, HSN's owners USA Broadcasting had decided to switch all of its over-the-air HSN affiliates to a general entertainment independent format (in markets where the USA-owned station adopted the format such as Dallas and Miami, some locally produced programs were included along with syndicated shows). There were plans to change channel 46's format to a format featuring some classic sitcoms, movies, drama shows, newer cartoons and its call letters to KLIK (meaning "click"); but the conversion plans were immediately scrapped as USA decided to sell its stations due to financial troubles in late 2000 to early 2001. The Walt Disney Company was the leading candidate to buy the stations, which would have made channel 46 a sister to ABC's West Coast flagship KABC-TV (channel 7). However, Univision Communications bought the stations instead, and by 2002, had used channel 46 (whose call letters were changed to KFTR-TV) and most of other stations to become charter stations for its new secondary network TeleFutura (the forerunner to UniMás).
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|46.1||1080i||16:9||KFTR-DT||Main KFTR-DT programming / UniMás|
In January 2010, KFTR upgraded its digital signal to transmit network programming in HD, as part of a company-wide upgrade of Univision's stations to allow high definition broadcasts. On December 5, 2010, sister station KMEX-DT began Mobile DTV broadcasts of its own signal and of KFTR-DT. KMEX-DT has two Mobile DTV feeds, one of subchannel 34.1, labelled "KMEX-MH1", and of sister station KFTR-TV 46.1, labelled "KFTR-MH2", broadcasting at 3.67 Mbit/s. It is the highest bitrate of any Los Angeles television station's mobile feed. In addition, the station is also simulcast over KMEX's second digital subchannel.
KFTR-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 46, on June 12, 2009, as part of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 29, using PSIP to display KFTR-TV's virtual channel as 46 on digital television receivers. The shutdown of the analog signal was preceded by a retrospective of Telefutura programming, ending with static clouding the logo.
KFTR previously aired a one-hour extension of KMEX's weekday morning newscast at 7 a.m. This was later replaced with an entertainment program named Lanzaté. In addition, KFTR may also take on the responsibility of KMEX's newscasts in the event KMEX is unable due to special programming on Univision. One instance occurred during Univision's coverage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, when KFTR aired KMEX's weekday morning newscasts while KMEX was airing a live broadcast of Despierta America. Another instance occurs every December, when KFTR airs KMEX's evening newscasts during Univision's coverage of Teletón USA.